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Old 06-16-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
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After 3 years with my V6, up to a SS: Upgrade Review

I had my V6 for 3 years and 50,000 miles (49,345) and yesterday I traded up to a 2SS/RS. I figured I'd post my honest review as it might be helpful to someone.

As far as the exterior goes, the cars looked comically identical when I arrived at the dealer. My signature is actually my V6 so you can see what I'm talking about. I was unwilling to give up my beautiful Euro meshs so I offered the dealer a deal, they could swap the SS's stock rims to my 6, and put my rims on the SS.

The real visual differences happened getting into the car. My 6 was a 1LT with just the RS package and a spare tire. So going to what appears to be a nearly fully loaded 2SS is a giant leap. My 1LT interior now seems quite incomplete in comparison. Leather seats, heated seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, bluetooth with steering wheel controls, door lighting, Boston sound, what a massive difference. I never needed any of these things, and was happy without them, but this is one of those once you try it you can't go back scenarios.

The SS handles the same, as it should. It does seem tighter than the stock V6 suspension but it is not a night and day difference. I had BMR springs on the V6 that will go on my SS when I get the chance, I imagine it will still handle the same.

The V6 brakes much shorter than the 8, I could tell that immediately. However the pedal feel is softer and mushy making it difficult to achieve precision without a lot of seat time. The SS brakes are more precise and the pedal feels stiff and thus more sporty.

Interestingly there is also a big difference in gas pedal feel, not necessarily power related. The SS requires you press the pedal slightly more to achieve more than about 5-10% throttle. The 6 doesn't have this sort of "deadzone." I'm assuming it must be a sort of safety feature on the SS because once you press that pedal far enough, the kraken is released.

This thing PULLS. The V6 LLT legitimately pulls you and your passenger into your seats. The V8 LS3 however smashes you in. The difference will put a huge smile on an enthusiast's face, no doubt. It really scares you at higher MPH because you really start to feel it pulling your body into the seat and you realize how insanely fast it can go. The 6 creeps up to higher MPH and gives you a chance to think about what you are doing, the SS DOES NOT.

So all in all, if you can afford it and you are a person who likes to go fast, the SS is your car.

I must say though, if you don't drive like you're in the fast and the furious and speed isn't too big a deal for you, the V6 is probably actually the better car overall. A loaded up 2LT RS should be just fine for the average driver. The SS is really for the person who tinkers with their car every weekend, who doesn't know how many times they've been to the track, or how many tickets they have gotten...
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkneSS View Post
I had my V6 for 3 years and 50,000 miles (49,345) and yesterday I traded up to a 2SS/RS. I figured I'd post my honest review as it might be helpful to someone.

As far as the exterior goes, the cars looked comically identical when I arrived at the dealer. My signature is actually my V6 so you can see what I'm talking about. I was unwilling to give up my beautiful Euro meshs so I offered the dealer a deal, they could swap the SS's stock rims to my 6, and put my rims on the SS.

The real visual differences happened getting into the car. My 6 was a 1LT with just the RS package and a spare tire. So going to what appears to be a nearly fully loaded 2SS is a giant leap. My 1LT interior now seems quite incomplete in comparison. Leather seats, heated seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, bluetooth with steering wheel controls, door lighting, Boston sound, what a massive difference. I never needed any of these things, and was happy without them, but this is one of those once you try it you can't go back scenarios.

The SS handles the same, as it should. It does seem tighter than the stock V6 suspension but it is not a night and day difference. I had BMR springs on the V6 that will go on my SS when I get the chance, I imagine it will still handle the same.

The V6 brakes much shorter than the 8, I could tell that immediately. However the pedal feel is softer and mushy making it difficult to achieve precision without a lot of seat time. The SS brakes are more precise and the pedal feels stiff and thus more sporty.

Interestingly there is also a big difference in gas pedal feel, not necessarily power related. The SS requires you press the pedal slightly more to achieve more than about 5-10% throttle. The 6 doesn't have this sort of "deadzone." I'm assuming it must be a sort of safety feature on the SS because once you press that pedal far enough, the kraken is released.

This thing PULLS. The V6 LLT legitimately pulls you and your passenger into your seats. The V8 LS3 however smashes you in. The difference will put a huge smile on an enthusiast's face, no doubt. It really scares you at higher MPH because you really start to feel it pulling your body into the seat and you realize how insanely fast it can go. The 6 creeps up to higher MPH and gives you a chance to think about what you are doing, the SS DOES NOT.

So all in all, if you can afford it and you are a person who likes to go fast, the SS is your car.

I must say though, if you don't drive like you're in the fast and the furious and speed isn't too big a deal for you, the V6 is probably actually the better car overall. A loaded up 2LT RS should be just fine for the average driver. The SS is really for the person who tinkers with their car every weekend, who doesn't know how many times they've been to the track, or how many tickets they have gotten...

I am the latter... I have beeb dropped by an insurance agency (not uninsurable yet) and can no longer drive company vehicles...
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the review, I went straight for the SS after test driving both and couldn't be happier. Nice rims btw.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:09 AM   #4
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The throttle response on the SS model sucks socks

Any low-end torque needed for this very heavy car is essentially emasculated...and a pushrod V8 is an engine I expect low end torque from.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkneSS View Post
I had my V6 for 3 years and 50,000 miles (49,345) and yesterday I traded up to a 2SS/RS. I figured I'd post my honest review as it might be helpful to someone.

As far as the exterior goes, the cars looked comically identical when I arrived at the dealer. My signature is actually my V6 so you can see what I'm talking about. I was unwilling to give up my beautiful Euro meshs so I offered the dealer a deal, they could swap the SS's stock rims to my 6, and put my rims on the SS.

The real visual differences happened getting into the car. My 6 was a 1LT with just the RS package and a spare tire. So going to what appears to be a nearly fully loaded 2SS is a giant leap. My 1LT interior now seems quite incomplete in comparison. Leather seats, heated seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, bluetooth with steering wheel controls, door lighting, Boston sound, what a massive difference. I never needed any of these things, and was happy without them, but this is one of those once you try it you can't go back scenarios.

The SS handles the same, as it should. It does seem tighter than the stock V6 suspension but it is not a night and day difference. I had BMR springs on the V6 that will go on my SS when I get the chance, I imagine it will still handle the same.

The V6 brakes much shorter than the 8, I could tell that immediately. However the pedal feel is softer and mushy making it difficult to achieve precision without a lot of seat time. The SS brakes are more precise and the pedal feels stiff and thus more sporty.

Interestingly there is also a big difference in gas pedal feel, not necessarily power related. The SS requires you press the pedal slightly more to achieve more than about 5-10% throttle. The 6 doesn't have this sort of "deadzone." I'm assuming it must be a sort of safety feature on the SS because once you press that pedal far enough, the kraken is released.

This thing PULLS. The V6 LLT legitimately pulls you and your passenger into your seats. The V8 LS3 however smashes you in. The difference will put a huge smile on an enthusiast's face, no doubt. It really scares you at higher MPH because you really start to feel it pulling your body into the seat and you realize how insanely fast it can go. The 6 creeps up to higher MPH and gives you a chance to think about what you are doing, the SS DOES NOT.

So all in all, if you can afford it and you are a person who likes to go fast, the SS is your car.

I must say though, if you don't drive like you're in the fast and the furious and speed isn't too big a deal for you, the V6 is probably actually the better car overall. A loaded up 2LT RS should be just fine for the average driver. The SS is really for the person who tinkers with their car every weekend, who doesn't know how many times they've been to the track, or how many tickets they have gotten...
Exactly my thought. Got fully loaded 2LT/RS, couldn't be happier. However test-drove both.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
The throttle response on the SS model sucks socks

Any low-end torque needed for this very heavy car is essentially emasculated...and a pushrod V8 is an engine I expect low end torque from.
Yea...the v8 really sucks, its a real dog...wtf?
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Great Review....throttle response, brakes, spot on
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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No worries...that little "bog" at first on the SS can be remedied with a ported throttle body and/or fuse pull...

Good post OP...all great cars...3 years of your first one, then something else is all part of the hobby...good job, enjoy...
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Yea, good review, now go test drive a ZL1. OMG what a difference. I have a 2LT/RS I'm very happy with thew car, but again if I ever upgrade ZL1 will be in my Garage.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Fuse pull definitely helped my throttle response. CAI will also help.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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My experience was pretty much the same.
I tested a 1SS the same day I bought the LT. Since I was only going to buy an auto, I tested the L99.
I wasn't terribly impressed with the power difference, but the torque did give it better responsiveness. The exhaust note was cool but WAY too muted.
The FE3 suspension felt a bit firmer but also a lot less comfortable...and since every YouTube review shows the V6 to pull a higher lateral G without the FE3 suspension, I just didn't see the purpose of putting up with a harsh ride. All the reviews show the exact same braking distance for both V6 and V8 so the Brembos are definitely doing their job, but have more weight to stop with a heavier car. No real advantage there either.
In the end, I just couldn't justify paying $38K when they were already dealing on the LT at $21.5K...
And...forgive me for saying so, but there's no freakin' way in hell I could learn to live with that goofy mailslot. It makes the car look both taller and narrower...both fundamental mistakes on a sports car. I'm quite pleased to see it removed on the 2014 model.
Now before you SS gearheads get your panties in a wade, let me make something perfectly clear. I respect the SS for what it is. I suspect the V8 will have good longevity...and we're all in love with the exhaust note. It's not that the V8 is bad...just that the V6 is so very very good.
There's simply no way I'm going to feed a V8 premium gas and get 14MPG for my trouble. Not gonna happen...
All I'm saying is that the SS wasn't the right car FOR ME.
I'll be keeping the LT.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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Nice write up, agree. But it was a dream to get a ss, dating back to when i was 16. at the time couldn't afford it , wife needed a new truck, two kids etc, so got the ls. Modded the hell out of it and still could not get anywhere near then power of a v8 un modded. Deal came up that was too sweet to pass up on. The v6 is a great car, combo of decent power, great looks and handling at a great price, can't go wrong. Just wished the ecu on the v6 was easier to program and mods yield higher #s. If that would have been the case the v6 would still be in the driveway, enjoy the car, I know I am
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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I've driven both, and that seems like a fair review.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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There's simply no way I'm going to feed a V8 premium gas and get 14MPG for my trouble. Not gonna happen...
All I'm saying is that the SS wasn't the right car FOR ME.
I'll be keeping the LT.
Nothing wrong with the v6...its a great motor...but.....i feed my v8 regular, and average 22 mpg. Im getting 26 on hwy, and 18 city
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #15
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Nothing wrong with the v6...its a great motor...but.....i feed my v8 regular, and average 22 mpg. Im getting 26 on hwy, and 18 city
+1
Getting around 18 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the freeway
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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Wink Interesting write up...

Like others with the 6, I'm glad we chose the LT2/RS.
Now, when the time comes for an upgrade ... well the ZL1 will be on the short list!
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:35 PM   #17
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Yea...the v8 really sucks, its a real dog...wtf?
What's your experience here? Firstly I never said it was a dog, although the argument has some validity. I said the throttle response sucked. These cars are not beasts.

The LS3 makes it's peak torque around 4500 rpm. That is not "a lot" of torque- 420 lb/ft. Maybe in the year 2013 we've forgotten what a "lot" of torque is. 510 lb/ft at 2200 rpm. That's a lot of tire-roasting torque under your foot. The LS3's 420 lb/ft is also not in the "low end" of the curve. If the car weighed 3000 lbs it might be a lot of torque. And if the rpm it made peak torque at was less than 3000 I could see the argument that we are approaching 'low end'. But neither is the case. I also expect a lazy gas pedal with a badly tuned carburetor, not with fuel injection.

The Camaro SS weighs about 4000 lbs. At around 2500 rpm, you're making a fairly small, 350-370 lb/ft. And that's what's motivating the heavy car from low rpm.

The peak torque is not available to get the vehicle moving at low rpms, such as you see from a stop or in a slow traffic situation. Now couple that with the lethargic throttle response.

We, or at least I, did not have the luxury of choosing a different rear gear, which would mitigate the issue, although at the cost of maximum fuel economy.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:47 PM   #18
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Having traded my 1LT for a 2SS/RS, after the increase in Permagrin producing HP & Torque, the first thing I noticed was the harsher ride due to the sportier suspension.

My only wish is the SS had the tunable suspension of the ZL1 to smooth out all the bumps. But overall, no regrets!
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #19
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This does seem like a fair review as someone who has switched from a 2010 2LT to a 2013 2SS. I was very disappointed at the low end throttle response on my SS until I got a ported throttle body and did a fuse pull. I can't wait until I get a cold air intake to further improve the response (waiting on Cold Rush to be released to compare to CAI/Rotofab, plus I've spent too much $ lately on other mods).

However, one thing is that the 2013 SS did seem to handle better than my 2010 2LT, it seems like the FE4 suspension does make a difference. Does the electric power steering in the 2013 offer any handling advantages vs the 2012 SS?

Both the LT and SS are way too quiet from the factory, so a new axle back exhaust at the very least is needed to wake up the sound (or muffler delete on the SS).

Oh yeah, Active Fuel Management sucks donkey balls, the Range device or a tune is a must for the L99 ;p. AFM was another reason I was initially disappointed in my SS. It should have ONLY been enabled in D mode from the factory FFS.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:05 PM   #20
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21 tickets in two years lol
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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I've had plenty of fast cars (my current SS, 2 WS6's, 2 350Z's, etc) and the only recent ticket I got was in my V6 Camaro - go figure.

If you have self control, having a fast car does not = tickets/speeding/driving like a jackass. I haven't had my SS (or any of my other cars) to the track and probably won't. However (TO ME) the V6 is just not enough oompf for my liking.

BTW I had torque management tuned out (along with some other minor changes) and it makes a HUGE difference in throttle response and low end power


BTW: Nice write-up OP and congrats on the upgrade!
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
The throttle response on the SS model sucks socks

Any low-end torque needed for this very heavy car is essentially emasculated...and a pushrod V8 is an engine I expect low end torque from.
???? The total opposite is true on my 2010 SS. The biggest adjustment I had to make when I got it was learning to really ease into the throttle. Otherwise it was constant whiplash
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #23
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What's your experience here? Firstly I never said it was a dog, although the argument has some validity. I said the throttle response sucked. These cars are not beasts.

The LS3 makes it's peak torque around 4500 rpm. That is not "a lot" of torque- 420 lb/ft. Maybe in the year 2013 we've forgotten what a "lot" of torque is. 510 lb/ft at 2200 rpm. That's a lot of tire-roasting torque under your foot. The LS3's 420 lb/ft is also not in the "low end" of the curve. If the car weighed 3000 lbs it might be a lot of torque. And if the rpm it made peak torque at was less than 3000 I could see the argument that we are approaching 'low end'. But neither is the case. I also expect a lazy gas pedal with a badly tuned carburetor, not with fuel injection.

The Camaro SS weighs about 4000 lbs. At around 2500 rpm, you're making a fairly small, 350-370 lb/ft. And that's what's motivating the heavy car from low rpm.

The peak torque is not available to get the vehicle moving at low rpms, such as you see from a stop or in a slow traffic situation. Now couple that with the lethargic throttle response.

We, or at least I, did not have the luxury of choosing a different rear gear, which would mitigate the issue, although at the cost of maximum fuel economy.
Why didnt you get a Zl1?
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkneSS View Post
I had my V6 for 3 years and 50,000 miles (49,345) and yesterday I traded up to a 2SS/RS. I figured I'd post my honest review as it might be helpful to someone.

As far as the exterior goes, the cars looked comically identical when I arrived at the dealer. My signature is actually my V6 so you can see what I'm talking about. I was unwilling to give up my beautiful Euro meshs so I offered the dealer a deal, they could swap the SS's stock rims to my 6, and put my rims on the SS.

The real visual differences happened getting into the car. My 6 was a 1LT with just the RS package and a spare tire. So going to what appears to be a nearly fully loaded 2SS is a giant leap. My 1LT interior now seems quite incomplete in comparison. Leather seats, heated seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, bluetooth with steering wheel controls, door lighting, Boston sound, what a massive difference. I never needed any of these things, and was happy without them, but this is one of those once you try it you can't go back scenarios.

The SS handles the same, as it should. It does seem tighter than the stock V6 suspension but it is not a night and day difference. I had BMR springs on the V6 that will go on my SS when I get the chance, I imagine it will still handle the same.

The V6 brakes much shorter than the 8, I could tell that immediately. However the pedal feel is softer and mushy making it difficult to achieve precision without a lot of seat time. The SS brakes are more precise and the pedal feels stiff and thus more sporty.

Interestingly there is also a big difference in gas pedal feel, not necessarily power related. The SS requires you press the pedal slightly more to achieve more than about 5-10% throttle. The 6 doesn't have this sort of "deadzone." I'm assuming it must be a sort of safety feature on the SS because once you press that pedal far enough, the kraken is released.

This thing PULLS. The V6 LLT legitimately pulls you and your passenger into your seats. The V8 LS3 however smashes you in. The difference will put a huge smile on an enthusiast's face, no doubt. It really scares you at higher MPH because you really start to feel it pulling your body into the seat and you realize how insanely fast it can go. The 6 creeps up to higher MPH and gives you a chance to think about what you are doing, the SS DOES NOT.

So all in all, if you can afford it and you are a person who likes to go fast, the SS is your car.

I must say though, if you don't drive like you're in the fast and the furious and speed isn't too big a deal for you, the V6 is probably actually the better car overall. A loaded up 2LT RS should be just fine for the average driver. The SS is really for the person who tinkers with their car every weekend, who doesn't know how many times they've been to the track, or how many tickets they have gotten...

Very good review!
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:03 PM   #25
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Very good review! I would like to have sn SS but I there's no way I trade my v6! But I'm looking for payoff my v6 and get a SS or if I can use ZL1... and keep my v6 for wifey!
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